Milan Kundera is an author whose style is so unique and idiosyncratic that you will either love him or hate him. I am firmly in the first category. The psychological examination which he puts his characters through dissects their personas to such a magnificent extent as to believe they are real people. In this novel, one of his lesser known early books, Kundera examines the life of a poet, from the time of his conception, to his untimely death. Against the backdrop of Czechoslovakia's struggle with Communism, the young poet searches for a way to fit into this ever changing world. But in this book it is the poet's alter-ego Xavier - a chameleonic character who emerges from one dream into another, never waking to the awful struggles of reality - who is the touch of genius, living the fantasy life that the poet can only dream of. If you love Milan Kundera then search this little gem out, you will find few better examinations of the literary psyche.